WTT: One Vote, From An Iowa Liberal Democrat

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21 Responses

  1. RandomDude says:

    Ron Paul can do better… and so can we. His name is Governor Gary Johnson.

  2. A candidate who allowed borderline racist comments to be published under his name is by definition unelectable when he will be running against a President whose surrogates will race-bait shamelessly. That, and the fact that anyone so inept that he would,(as Paul sometimes has said) allow newsletters to go out under his banner without overseeing them is irresponsible as a manager/executive, and can't be trusted. No other GOP candidate could survive these and stay in the race—neither should Paul.

    I think vote-trading is unethical; but it's certainly debatable.

  3. David says:

    Johnson's problem is that he's not a good campaigner, and it's rapidly becoming too late to change that. Iowa is looming and Paul is a frontrunner there, while Johnson is in the low single digits. He'd need an unprecedented surge to even be worth trading votes for.

  4. Luna_the_cat says:

    Ron Paul is largely anti-science, which does not bode well for his ability to deal with any issue where scientific evaluation of evidence matters more than religious belief, and frankly, in looking at his statements on various issues (including gay marriage, yes) I think he has a dubious grasp of laws, too.

    The only person in the current Republican field who I think is less than batshit crazy is Huntsman, and frankly, he doesn't stand a chance precisely because he isn't as batshit crazy as the way the field is trending.

    I would like to note how utterly depressing I find that.

  5. Lago says:

    never posted here before but I've been following this blog for some time now; Luna, that's actually about as misinformed as it gets. he's largely pro science. he's an advocate for stem cell research (though against abortion), wants to see more fuel efficient alternatives to oil, and is a big proponent of nuclear power. his view on marriage is fairly progressive and personally thinks the government big and small should be out of the business of marriage entirely.

    that said, I have my own gripes about him, I don't really understand the relatively uninformed crowd he's garnered as his support base, but I agree with Patrick. He's the best contender I see on the field right now.

  6. Brian Dunbar says:

    Johnson’s problem is that he’s not a good campaigner,

    Examples, please.

    The national debate he was in, he got the quote of the evening. His coverage in the print press is good. I've watched several speeches and while he's no orator, he's as good at that as most of the guys running. He ran for governor twice, won, which seems to indicate he knows how to run a campaign.

    It's hard to campaign when a) your own party ignores you and b) the press doesn't list your name in the polls.

    Johnson is Ron Paul without the scary baggage and the racist hoo-haw in his background.

  7. John Kindley says:

    Paul, despite whatever flaws he might have, is head and shoulders over every other candidate. He's a giant among pygmies. He's just so radically different from all of them, in all the right ways.

    Jack Marshall: I just read Mark Draughn's account of your "thoughts" on pot prohibition at his Nobody's Business blog. I'd trust your opinion on whether vote-trading is unethical (voting itself is already ethically dubious, though I'll make an exception in the case of Paul if I get the chance, partly just because I want to see the fireworks and the hand-wringing and the apocalyptic drama if he faces off against Obama, and because a Paul presidency would dwarf in significance the "change" supposedly symbolized by the election of our first black president) and on whether Paul is electable and on whether he is "inept" and "can't be trusted" about as much as I'd trust your hair stylist.

  8. shane says:

    Unlike these windbags, I live in Iowa. Yes I am sorry as well. It's a deal Pat.

  9. piperTom says:

    I don't know why Patrick can't register as Libertarian in North Carolina. I have and 12480 other NC citizens have.

    Other than that, I endorse his offer and will double down on it. Let us know, Iowans.

  10. Luna_the_cat says:

    Re. Ron Paul's science stance:
    He doesn't accept evolution. I use this as a litmus test, among other things: does he accept the position of experts on issues where he is not himself an expert, or does he engage in motivated reasoning to adhere to an ideological position? There, he fails.

    He wants to defund government regulation of polluters and rely on tort law to keep them inhibited. That is what happened before the EPA, and it didn't work: it only addresses harm done after the fact, it assumes that parties with standing to bring a suit have knowledge of what has been done and what is in offending pollution, companies have a wide range of methods with which to obfuscate and keep blame from being directly pinned on them*, it does not in any way force there to be cleanup, and it relies on any financial penalty which may be assessed being sufficient motivation to force an industry to develop cleaner methods, which in the practice before the EPA almost never worked. And corporations have far far deeper pockets than citizens do with which to stall a case in court. That is why regulation which simply prohibits an activity is a more effective way to prevent harm and damage, and ignoring history does no-one any favours.

    And, he favours cutting pretty much all federal funding for science, medicine and basic research.
    http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/10/ron-paul-would-erase-billions-in.html
    If you want America to stay competitive internationally, this is precisely the way not to do it.

    These are the main, though not the sole, reasons I say he is anti-science.

    ————–
    *Consider: if five companies are dumping mercury into a river, then a lawsuit can only be brought once the local population see harm — for example, birth defects and/or retardation — then they must address all the companies, apportion blame in a way that the lawyers lose an argument against, and prove that the effects are directly attributable to the pollution, which can be nearly impossible, since after all, such defects happen 'normally' as well.

  11. Jamie R says:

    What does it matter whether Paul believes in Evolution? Is evolution one of the enumerated powers?

    If you look at the way federal funding of science has actually worked in the past few decades, you'll private enterprise may be more likely to produce actual results. Google or Virgin are much more likely to put a man on the moon in the foreseeable future than NASA. If federal funding was actually being used for things that weren't likely to be profitable otherwise (e.g., ebola medicine), you'd have a point. But our current system of government grants isn't producing these results.

    I'm just a 1L, so maybe this suggestion wouldn't actually work, but if 5 companies are dumping mercury into the river, then aren't there alternatives (enterprise liability, market-share DES liability, alternative liability, etc.) to let the harmed parties sue? Also, if 5 companies know that by dumping mercury in the river, and the harm that they'll be liable for is greater than the cost of dumping mercury in the river, then a rational company won't dumb mercury in the river; i.e., the prospect of tort liability has a prospective deterrent effect. Additionally, if pollution isn't actually harming people, then there's no harm, and it's not clear why it should be curbed.

  12. Luna_the_cat says:

    I explained precisely why I think evolution is a litmus test. Nobody can possibly be an expert in everything, which is why it is important to be able to listen to the advice of expertise when crafting policy. Note that we currently have a mess brewing with SOPA because policy is being drafted without any understanding of the technical issues (and before you tell me that Paul would never do that because he is in favour of a hands-off approach to regulation, he is also very much in favour of allowing big businesses to dictate the policy that suits them best, and was willing to take a stand on net neutrality while – he confessed himself – not understanding the technical issue).

    Having a legislator-in-chief who drives policy without understanding the details of issues OR taking expert advice (with a reasonable eye to picking legitimate experts) is a disaster.

    Also, the reality is that federal funding produces a huge amount of basic science, which is what private enterprise buy and build off of. For example, every vaccine developed started with publicly funded research, and was only bought and developed by drug companies once it was demonstrated to have worked. Private enterprise is largely unwilling to invest in "blue sky" research which has only a small chance of panning out, but that is where the largest advances come from. Note, for example, that it was a DARPA effort which gives you this internet.

    Also, you seem entirely unaware that there is a huge amount of investment in the kind of medical research which addresses things like ebola (in fact, there is <a href="http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1907166/potential_treatment_for_ebola_announced/&quot; a potential treatment of that very thing being developed with federal funding), or orphan diseases, which produce results and which no private company ever invests in because there isn't enough return for them in terms of profit.

    And again, I point you towards how things have worked in history regarding pollution control, and the fact that without regulation it can only be addressed after harm can be shown in a specific situation, not just in general (that is, we KNOW that mercury in the water supply is harmful, but someone needs to be able to prove that they or their community is being harmed before they could file suit) — by which time, the environment is already degraded, people are already harmed or even dead, and there is still no provision for cleanup. History teaches us that this doesn't work.

  13. jb says:

    Normally, I would say "Ron Paul's consistency and libertarianism are nice, but he holds too many crazy positions for me to support him." But this year, his opponents hold more crazy positions than usual, so newsletters, end-the-fed, etc notwithstanding, he is in fact the sanest Republican running.

  14. Lago says:

    "I explained precisely why I think evolution is a litmus test. Nobody can possibly be an expert in everything, which is why it is important to be able to listen to the advice of expertise when crafting policy. Note that we currently have a mess brewing with SOPA because policy is being drafted without any understanding of the technical issues (and before you tell me that Paul would never do that because he is in favour of a hands-off approach to regulation, he is also very much in favour of allowing big businesses to dictate the policy that suits them best, and was willing to take a stand on net neutrality while – he confessed himself – not understanding the technical issue).

    Having a legislator-in-chief who drives policy without understanding the details of issues OR taking expert advice (with a reasonable eye to picking legitimate experts) is a disaster."

    He's against net neutrality and SOPA. Yes, he's claimed he doesn't understand net neutrality legislature completely but he said, "I see this as a regulation of the Internet" which is a fairly accurate assessment of the situation. He's against regulation and the government telling you what to do in general, the only thing I would say he's for that goes completely against that ideology is that he wants legislature to pass that defines life at the beginning of conception. That to me is not only technically wrong, it's just wrong headed, even if the goal isn't to criminalize abortion.

    "Also, the reality is that federal funding produces a huge amount of basic science, which is what private enterprise buy and build off of. For example, every vaccine developed started with publicly funded research, and was only bought and developed by drug companies once it was demonstrated to have worked. Private enterprise is largely unwilling to invest in “blue sky” research which has only a small chance of panning out, but that is where the largest advances come from. Note, for example, that it was a DARPA effort which gives you this internet.

    Also, you seem entirely unaware that there is a huge amount of investment in the kind of medical research which addresses things like ebola (in fact, there is <a href="http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1907166/potential_treatment_for_ebola_announced/&quot; a potential treatment of that very thing being developed with federal funding), or orphan diseases, which produce results and which no private company ever invests in because there isn’t enough return for them in terms of profit."

    So are you trying to say without federal funding this research would stop? These vaccinations are actually quite profitable to the drug companies. There's some things I would agree I wouldn't want to see cut that he wants to cut, but these things work with the market investments, and arguably better. This isn't a sticking point for me, I see research happening either way and it's not terribly expensive, but when it comes to disease stuff, I lean a little more towards free market.

    "And again, I point you towards how things have worked in history regarding pollution control, and the fact that without regulation it can only be addressed after harm can be shown in a specific situation, not just in general (that is, we KNOW that mercury in the water supply is harmful, but someone needs to be able to prove that they or their community is being harmed before they could file suit) — by which time, the environment is already degraded, people are already harmed or even dead, and there is still no provision for cleanup. History teaches us that this doesn’t work."

    I think you're pointing to the industrial age, the age of pure unadulterated corporatism, not free market. We still in fact live in a corporate America, and that necessitates regulation agencies like the EPA and FDA. When there's birth defects and illnesses because somebody polluted a river, people need to be liable for their actions, not the corporations they work for. The free market and law will regulate itself far more effectively then governmental regulation would. The way laws apply to corporations right now though makes it a joke.

  15. matriarch918 says:

    I had found some info on these newsletters that are being criticized, including the interview he walked out of. I had the impression that no one, including the journalist questioning him actually believed that he believed the things written. He was saying he didn't write them or agree to them. I thought the big criticism was that he put his name on or let his name be put on those newsletters without knowing what they said. That would be foolish, but not racist or homophobic. Am I wrong in my impression. Is there actual concern that he did really write or endorse these?

  16. PeeDub says:

    Curious – why wouldn't you vote against the amendment anyway, Patrick?

  17. John Kindley says:

    I don't think he said he wouldn't. This reminds me of a scam I tried to pull in the bad old days when I was voting Republican. I'd propose to a Democrat that since our votes would cancel each other out anyway why didn't we just both agree to stay home on election day. Then I'd make the same "deal" with as many other Democrats as I could.

  18. Patrick says:

    Peedub, I promise not to schedule any work that would prevent me from voting in a primary election that otherwise will be meaningless.* I have never missed voting in a presidential election, but I have missed primaries due to, say, being in trial. That I'd vote against this despicable amendment is a given.

    *My primary election vote for president has never mattered, because the race is always decided by the time North Carolina holds primaries.

  19. Tam says:

    Luna_the_cat,

    We're not voting for God King, just president.

    Ron Paul could be in favor of complete deregulation of everything under the sun, but there's still the inertia of over a hundred years of federal bureaucracy, a sediment of often-conflicting laws and regulations miles deep in places.

    I don't think that one guy is going to turn the place into Anarchotopia (or Somalia, whichever you believe) in four years.

    But I'm willing to give him a chance to try. Everybody's been on the same side of the rope in this tug o' war for long enough.

  20. Rich Rostrom says:

    Ron Paul didn't just say something awful a long time ago.

    He published awful stuff under his name, very prominently, for years and years and years. He collected millions of dollars from the readers of his vile stuff.

    If he believed this garbage, then he is unfit for any public office.

    If he didn't believe it, then he knowingly circulated false and malignant propaganda for personal and political gains – and that makes him unfit for any political office.

    He says he has rejected these views. But he was a featured speaker to the John Birch Society last year, and appears on Alex Jones' radio show, along with Truthers and Birthers and fringe racists. Stormfront loves him, and he seems to like them.

    Paul is dead right about some things other people won't even talk about. He's dead wrong on a lot of other things.

    Oh, and he has no record whatever of actually advancing his principles in Congress, by sponsoring good legislation, getting bad laws repealed, or stopping wasteful appropriations.